There is something about the Fourth of July.  for one thing it’s my birthday, so i’ve always known about fireworks.  there are always some breathtaking, marvelous displays.  pyrotechnics have come along way from the old “basketball”artillery shells that got launched up when i was a kid.  even what you can buy and shoot off illegally in your city at the roadside stand has gotten substantially better than the roman candles and blackcats we used to buy.

so after watching several massive fireworks displays from our back balcony (we watched 4 different cities from that perspective) it got me thinking…

how much do americans spend on fireworks every year?  i mean from the kids playing with sparklers in the driveway to the big extravaganzas.  i found information from one organization here.

according to this chart. the companies made $350 million on fireworks in 1997.  ten years later they made almost 3 times that much.  is that because fireworks are more expensive, or did americans spend that much more? and better yet, those are revenue.  what did we actually “spend” on fireworks?

this is a conundrum for me because i know that many charity organizations sell fireworks to help fund their cause.  but i see such a huge waste.  i mean how much money do people pay for basically a 1 second explosion?  the total firework consumption for 2007 both consumer and display was 265.5 million pounds.  is that excess?

Phantom Fireworks lists their Aerial shell kit with 12 shells at $49.99.  that’s roughly $4 a shell.  is that one second explosion really as valuable as a “gallon of gas”(even though gas is overpriced).

how many Compassion Orphan’s could be fed with what America spends on fireworks?  or lattes? or clothes? i guess the real question here is…what am i going to do about it?  i’m sure there are some churches who sell fireworks to further ministry.  our education pastor mentioned how could we use people’s love of fireworks to have community?  i guess it just raises questions for me.  what can chuck do to change his consumption?

this post is part of Water Cooler Wednesdays over at Randy Elrod’s Ethos


One comment

  1. Chuck–thanks for making me think

    I guess I just put my mind in neutral on the 4th and never realize the $$$ spent and what they could be going for.

    I guess we need more balance in our lives.

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